Making policies work

James Mackie

  • EU Development Policy
  • Africa-EU Relations
  • ACP-EU Relations
  • European Report on Development


James Mackie is a specialist on EU development policy with a career of some 35 years in international development cooperation. Since 2015 he has been ECDPM’s Head of Learning & Quality Support (LQS) Unit. He is also a member of ECDPM’s Management Team. From June 2018 to January 2019 he served as ECDPM’s Acting Director.

Dr Mackie is also a Visiting Professor at the International Relations and Diplomacy Department of the College of Europe in Bruges since 2006 and a Visiting Lecturer at Nyansapo College of international relations and diplomacy, Accra (University of Cape Coast) since 2016. In both colleges he teaches Masters level courses on the EU and international development.

Prior to establishing the LQS Unit at ECDPM, James Mackie was Senior Adviser on EU Development Policy in the Centre and for nine years (2002-2012), from when he first joined ECDPM, he served as one of the Centre’s Heads of Programme. His most recent programme responsibility was as head of the former DPIR (Development Policy and International Relations) Programme.

Originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, James Mackie holds both British and Belgian nationalities. He gained a PhD in Geography at the School of Oriental & African Studies of the University of London in 1982 for a thesis on regional development in India. He also holds a BSc in Town & Country Planning from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Prior to joining ECDPM, James Mackie developed his knowledge of EU development cooperation while working for ten years as Secretary-General of the NGDO-EU Liaison Committee in Brussels (now CONCORD), the umbrella organisation of EU development NGOs for engaging with the European Institutions. From 1982 to 1992 he worked for VSO, the British NGO specialising in low-cost technical assistance, both in Asia (Philippines, Maldives, Sri Lanka) as a country representative and programme manager and then at the headquarters in London, on programme funding.

Areas of Work

  • Evaluations and studies for the EU on various topics such as the Africa Peace Facility (2017), EU support to Research and Innovation for Development (2016), Visibility of EU external action (2012), EU budget’s external action instruments (2011), European Consensus on Development (2009), and Policy coherence for development (2007)
  • European Report on Development – team member for the 2011 and 2015 editions and team leader of the 2013 report on the post-2015 global development (multi-disciplinary research team for the three institute consortium with ODI-London and DIE-Bonn)
  • EU-Africa relations
  • EU-ACP relations
  • Policy coherence for development


Member of ECDPM’s Management Team

Pre-ECDPM Assignments

  • Secretary General, NGDO – EU Liaison Committee (now CONCORD), Brussels
  • Programme Funding Manager, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), London
  • Field Director, Philippines, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), Manila, Philippines
  • Visiting Lecturer, Development Planning Unit, UCL (University College London), London

External publications and contributions

    Une occasion de faire les choses bien

    Publications | Published on 31-01-2018

    A chance to get it right

    Publications | Published on 03-01-2018

    Policy Coherence & the 2030 Agenda

    Publications | Published on 23-03-2017

    James Mackie

    Head of Learning and Quality Support




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    • +32 (0)478 87 09 09


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    Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 21

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